stafF & Board

Will Picard

Executive Director

Will Picard is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in Modern Middle East Studies and Southwest Asian Conflict Studies. His senior thesis explored the importance of the Sa‘dah wars in the context of modern Yemeni history. Will first visited Yemen in 1999, when he was 17 years old. He has studied Yemeni history and contemporary affairs ever since.

Will directs the YPP’s day-to-day operations, manages the organization’s website and Twitter account, writes for the Blog, and hosts the Mafraj Radio podcast. He can be reached at picard[at]yemenpeaceproject[dot]org.

Kate Kizer

Director of Policy & Advocacy

Kate has worked on human rights and democratization in the Middle East for nearly ten years. Kate received her B.A. in Middle Eastern and North African Studies from UCLA, studied Arabic at the American University in Cairo, and is currently an M.A. candidate at Georgetown University’s Democracy and Governance program. Kate has also traveled extensively in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Syria. Her writing and commentary have been featured in numerous news outlets, including Reuters, Al Jazeera America, Middle East Eye, OpenDemocracy, and the Huffington Post.

Kate directs YPP’s policy and advocacy program to ensure US foreign policy in Yemen reflects the needs and interests of Yemenis and Yemeni Americans. She can be reached at kate[at]yemenpeaceproject[dot]org.

Ashley Blackwell

Development Officer

Ashley Blackwell received her B.A in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia. She has dedicated her career to improving the quality of life of historically marginalized populations by creating more comprehensive support structures in communities. Her efforts in education, community, and economic development led her to receive the 2015 John T. Casteen Diversity Equity Inclusion Leadership Award and Class of 2015 Ripple Effect Award. In her role as Development Officer, she supports the Executive Director and board in developing and implementing an organizational development strategy to grow YPP's Yemeni Empowerment Fund and advocacy efforts to center Yemeni voices in policy-making processes. 

Eric Eikenberry


Advocacy Officer

Eric received a B.A. in International Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. in Middle East Studies from the Elliott School of International Affairs. Prior to completing his master's studies, he worked as an advocacy associate at Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, where he conducted reporting on gross human rights violations in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Eric is committed to pushing back against the US government's reflexive support for autocrats in the MENA region, and to promoting nonviolent social movements striving for political, social, and economic reforms.

Eric helps to manage YPP's policy and advocacy program to ensure US foreign policy in Yemen complies with international law and reflects the needs and interests of Yemenis and Yemeni Americans. He can be reached at eric[at]yemenpeaceproject[dot]org.

 Mohammed      Alian

 Research & Policy Intern

 April              Artrip

 Media & Advocacy Intern


Policy & Advocacy Intern

 B. Lana  GuggenHeim

 Special Projects Intern

 Bridget    Sakowski

  Policy & Advocacy Intern

 jASKIRAT          sINGH

Research & Advocacy Intern








Mohamed Alyajouri